Pubdate: Wed, 30 Apr 2003
Source: Eastern Daily Press (UK)
Copyright: 2003, Archant Regional
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - United Kingdom)


A man who smoked up to 20 cannabis cigarettes a day to tackle the symptoms
of a degenerative disease was spared punishment yesterday.

Zippy Rayner, 45, admitted possession of controlled drugs after a police
search of his home near Halesworth led to the discovery of 17.2 grams of
cannabis resin and 282 grams of herbal cannabis.

Lowestoft magistrates heard Rayner had been smoking 15-20 "joints" a day.
Rayner handed the drugs, worth a total of UKP490, to police who had gone to
his house with a search warrant on March 27.

James Terry, prosecuting, said: "He has drug-related matters going back
quite some time. The police were handed a quantity of drugs by the
defendant. He understands that at the present time it is illegal to possess

Mr Terry said that while the police officers were still at his home, Rayner
told them: "I don't misuse drugs, I use drugs."

The court heard that Rayner, of Sibton, near Halesworth, had bought a
"significant quantity" of the drug because it was cheaper that way and was
smoking about an ounce of cannabis a week.

The court heard that Rayner suffers from Wilson's Disease, a degenerative
illness caused by the body not properly processing copper in food.

Lucy Ashmore, in mitigation, said that Rayner was aware of the legal issues
surrounding possession of cannabis.

"He is someone who knows it is wrong in law," she said. "He does not like
having to take the cannabis but it helps him and calms him.

"He is trying very hard to find alternative ways of dealing with his
problem," she added. "He is a model citizen in many respects and helped the
police find the cannabis at his home."

The court heard that former engineer Rayner was first diagnosed more than 20
years ago. Since then he had been married until his wife, who suffered from
bi-polar disorder, committed suicide.

"He tries to keep himself busy," said Miss Ashmore. "And he does gardening
to tackle his feelings of aggression."

Magistrates told Rayner that despite co-operating with police he would be
still punished because of his history of drug offences.

He was fined UKP200 and told to pay UKP50 towards costs. The magistrates
also ordered the destruction of the drugs.
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